Back in the early 90’s I had completed my military service and had enrolled in college. I was working 3 part-time jobs trying to keep my head above water. One of the jobs was working in the fishing department of a local outdoor store. The Manager of that department was a man named Frank. The guy was a Fisherman’s fisherman! He was the consummate angler we all wished we were like. His entire life revolved around fishing.
Frank never wore nice clothes…ever. Half the time I think he lived out of his car…which was a rolling tackle box. He was a man of few words but knew his craft. The sacrifices he made were enormous and few people understood him at all. I don’t think he ever pondered the meaning of life while sitting around a fire chatting with friends. Rather, I think he sat on a river bank all night by himself only thinking about fishing.
Frank taught me a lot. And I mean A LOT. He sold me my first “good” rods and reels ( the Shimano TX spinning reels and matching rods) if that says anything. I was on a tight budget and so was he. He knew exactly what it took to get the job done. I still have those reels in my display case.
When you’re trying to get established in life and move up in the world, its easy to dismiss people like Frank. Most people did, they thought he was odd, and he was in a way. He always wore a smirk…I think he knew what everyone else was missing and was OK with that. Looking back after all these years…I think he was a genius! For those who like to fish as much as I do, I sometimes lament the path I took which required way too much work and not enough fishing time. Frank lived the dream, or at least his dream.
Frank will probably never see this blog post. But if he does I’d like to tell him Thank You and I hope you are doing well and still living the dream!